A search warrant means that the police can enter a property that is owned by someone else, even if they do not have that person’s consent. They will often ask for consent first, and if they cannot get it, then they will get a warrant. But there are also cases where they will get the warrant in advance and not bother asking for consent.
Either way, as a property owner, you do have to allow the police to enter your property if they have a warrant. But don’t make the mistake of assuming this means they can go anywhere that they want. The warrant could have restrictions.
Areas within the house
For example, some warrants are restricted to certain areas in someone’s house where evidence could reasonably be found. This could also apply to different buildings on your property. Maybe the police got a warrant to search your garage, for instance, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they can come into your house. Some search warrants are also for the entire property, but it’s just important to know what you’re dealing with. Make sure you ask the officers if you can read the warrant.
Types of evidence
That warrant may also specify the type of evidence that the police are looking for. They may be allowed to gather other evidence that is left out in plain view, but they have a specific target that they’re searching for. They’re not just coming to your house to look everywhere for any evidence of any crime. They have specific probable cause to believe you’re doing something illegal, and they have to focus on that.
When the police do violate your rights, it’s crucial that you know what your legal options are.